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How far did the Liberal government mishandle the Irish question?

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From the period of 1909-1916, it could be said that the liberal government led by Herbert Asquith typically mishandled the situation concerning Ireland. This is due to Asquith's 'reactive' government which ultimately made weak and unjustifiable decisions that consequentially effected other issues at the time such as sectarian tension and increased nationalism from the Irish.- the opposite of what he had hoped to achieve when was governing the UK. One way in which the liberal government mishandled the Irish issues at the time was because of the way in which the home rule bill abandoned unionists by satisfying nationalist aspirations. Within the whole idea of Home Rule in Ireland there was a logical flaw. This flaw was that if Ireland was to be given self rule, it would be governed by the majority of Irish nationalists. Additionally, there would be no way in which the Protestant and Catholics could be successfully partitioned as it was evident that there would be underlying catholic dominance in Ireland, especially when it came to making new legislation, giving the Protestants who lived in Ireland an unfair lifestyle. Yet despite this, the Liberal government carried through a third home rule bill, a decision that led to the creation of the UVF and later violence from Unionists. This unionist abandonment showed how the Liberal government mishandled Irish issues. ...read more.


One fundamental reason why the Liberal Governments failed to appropriately handle the Irish Issues from 1909-1916 was because of the prime minister Herbert Asquith. Asquith's constant indecisiveness made his seem untrustworthy and manipulative. This devious side to him was shown particularly when the Amendment to the Home Rule Bill was made in 1913, this amendment gave the option of the counties in the Ulster region to opt out. Asquith never previously mentioned any partition when he introduced the Home Rule Bill and introduced this amendment in secret. Another example of Asquith's sudden change of tone was the fact that there was no mention of a Home Rule Bill when he came into power in 1906, but there was in 1911. These changes in perspectives from Asquith made him seem mendacious and made him look weak also. Asquith was shown to be a prime minister who was reactive to situations that happened around him. This was not ideal since Asquith was meant to give an impression that his Liberal Government was setting the agenda on a daily basis, not just reacting to what happens on the agenda, a crucial quality for a War time prime minister. This Inadequacy from Asquith gives the impression that the Liberal governments at the time mishandled the Irish Issues. ...read more.


Although the Conservative party, led by Andrew Bonar Law said that they were making a principled case based on the threat that home rule posed on the integrity of both property and empire, it could be said that they were merely opposing Home Rule in a bid for popularity amongst the electorate. Bonar Law's backing of the rebellion against the parliamentary act and menacing aims in order to make the Liberals governing much harder and to gain support against those who opposed the Liberals' decisions meant that the entirety of the blame for not handling the Irish issues at the time could not just be placed on the Liberals. In Conclusion, The reactive Liberal government led by Asquith had mishandled the issues concerning Ireland from 1909-1916. Their Inability to maintain control of the agenda, led to the Liberal government simply reacting to every situation that approached them. Although it could be said that part of the issue lied with the Conservatives who used damaging tactics to gain support, the overall weak governing by Asquith as well as sectarian issues leads to a conclusion that for the majority of the period from 1909- 1916, the Liberals are accountable for mishandling the Irish issues. ?? ?? ?? ?? How far did the Liberal Governments mishandle the Irish issues during the period from 1909 to 1916? How far did the Liberal Governments mishandle the Irish issues during the period from 1909 to 1916? ...read more.

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